Sometimes it becomes crystal clear why we do what de do. I had one of those moments of extraordinary clarity on Sunday as I forced my aching feet up Heartbreak Hill at the finish line of the Marine Corps Marathon.
I had run the marathon in honor of the many veterans who are behind bars. I prayed for a different incarcerated Marine during each mile of the race. Their names were written on my shirt. Many Marines thanked Prison Fellowship on behalf of buddies who came home from war scarred, trying to numb their wounded souls with drugs and alcohol. They thanked us for simply standing beside a group that society prefers to ignore.
The finish line was at the base of the Iwo Jima Memorial. As I saw it, a moving tribute to thousands who were wounded and killed to take a hill out of enemy hands, my brief pain on Heartbreak Hill was put into perspective. I thought of Calvary, the hill our Lord took at the cost of his own life. As men and women have died to give us liberty on this side of the grave, Jesus suffered agony to give us liberty that will last for all eternity.
In grateful response to our King, we now serve in order to bring freedom and restoration to the souls of men and women, including those who have served our country in uniform.
Our race has its pains and its heartbreaking ascents, too. But in the end, the monuments we leave behind are lives restored to their potential in Jesus. Won’t you run this race with us? Learn how at www.prisonfellowship.org.